5 May 2012

The Descendants - loved the film, what about the book?

The other night I watched "The Descendants" - a wonderful, strange, bittersweet movie starring George Clooney and Shailene Woodsley. Personally, I think that Clooney is a wonderful actor  - he is so good at playing a little bit rough, confused and bruised. He does modern male incredibly well and "The Descendants" is no exception - it is Clooney at his finest portraying the tempest-tost land baron, husband and father Matt King. Matt was king in his own life, rich, privileged, married to a beautiful woman with two gorgeous daughters. At the opening of the film, however, this in the past because his beautiful wife is in a coma and he has not the faintest idea how to be a father to his two girls. The oldest girl is played by Shailene Woodsley, who complements Clooney perfectly and does a superb job of making a difficult, tormented teenage girl come to life on the big screen. She is definitely one to watch. 

It is a moving film about the loss of a wife and the loss of a parents but most of all it is about the loss of life as we know it. It is about what happen when what we thought was forever and took for granted can be taken from us in a second. I loved it, though it was bittersweet and a times sad and when the credits rolled I spotted some of my favourite words "Based on...". 
I love that! It is so fantastic to find out that a great movie is based on a book - a book that could be just as amazing. 

So "The Descendants" by Kaui Hart Hemmings is going straight on my TBR and here is what it says on amazon.com:
"Matthew King was once considered one of the most fortunate men in Hawaii. His missionary ancestors were financially and culturally progressive–one even married a Hawaiian princess, making Matt a royal descendant and one of the state’s largest landowners. 
Now his luck has changed. His two daughters are out of control: Ten-year-old Scottie is a smart-ass with a desperate need for attention, and seventeen-year-old Alex, a former model, is a recovering drug addict. Matt’s charismatic, thrill-seeking, high-maintenance wife, Joanie, lies in a coma after a boat-racing accident and will soon be taken off life support. The Kings can hardly picture life without her, but as they come to terms with this tragedy, their sadness is mixed with a sense of freedom that shames them–and spurs them into surprising actions.
Before honoring Joanie’s living will, Matt must gather her friends and family to say their final goodbyes, a difficult situation made worse by the sudden discovery that there is one person who hasn’t been told: the man with whom Joanie had been having an affair, quite possibly the one man she ever truly loved. Forced to examine what he owes not only to the living but to the dead, Matt takes to the road with his daughters to find his wife’s lover, a memorable journey that leads to both painful revelations and unforeseen humor and growth."


  1. Hope you enjoy the book as much as the film! The film didn't really appeal to me before reading this post but you make it sound really worth watching.

  2. My wife and I watched The Descendants the night before I left for my most recent business trip 'cos she wanted to watch something "funny." Ha! Did we ever get a surprise.

    On the flip side of the coin, we could certainly see why Clooney won an Oscar for his role. It just wasn't what the wifey was expecting--and it was a total downer considering I was fixing to leave for 3 weeks.

    Anyhow, be sure to let us know how the book turns out. And I'm returning the favor and following you, too. ;)

    Jonathan @ I Read a Book Once